Court throws out juvenile's confession of killing 9 people

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Move could lead to his release or new trial

TUCSON -- A federal appeals court has ruled that a juvenile's 1991 confession in the 1991 killings of nine people at a Buddhist temple near Phoenix was involuntary.The ruling on Johnathan Doody's appeal means that the then-17-year-old's murder convictions will be overturned and he'll be freed unless he's retried or the government successfully appeals.

A 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel on Thursday sent the case back to a federal judge in Phoenix to return it to state court.

Doody is serving nine consecutive life sentences and another 11 lesser sentences at an Arizona Department of Corrections facility at Buckeye.

The Arizona attorney general's office will have to decide whether to pursue federal appeals.

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